Game 8 Recap: Twins 3, Royals 1

The difference was night and day.

So I think we figured out what was wrong with this team:  not enough night games.  We may have a lousy record in day games, but we're undefeated in games played at night.  And since we have mostly night games on the schedule, that's a really good sign for this team!

On a more serious note, it's amazing the difference a well-pitched game makes.  Kyle Gibson was--well, he wasn't dominant, but he was good enough.  Nine hits, but only one run.  It helped that he didn't walk anybody, and it also helped that the Twins turned a couple of double plays behind him.  As was observed in the game log, he wisely kept the Twins outfield from getting too involved in the game.  The Twins offense didn't do a lot, but they scored once in the first and Oswaldo Arcia hit a two-run homer in the fourth, and Gibson left the game with a 3-1 lead.

That, of course, meant that it was up to the bullpen, and the nation held its breath.  On this night, however, the bullpen came through.  It helped that, with a lead, the Twins used the relievers who actually have a chance to be good.  Duensing came in and got a left-handed batter out, Fien and Perkins each threw a perfect inning, and that simply the Twins had one in the win column.

Molitor shook up the lineup a little, batting Hunter second and Dozier fourth.  I don't know that it made a lot of difference--Hunter was 1-for-3 with a walk, Dozier was 0-for-2 with a sacrifice fly--but it didn't hurt anything, either.  Since the Twins won, he'll probably try it again today.  Dozier doesn't really look like a fourth-place hitter, but neither does Hunter.  The only one who might is Vargas, and I don't understand why Molitor doesn't use him there, but it also probably doesn't make a lot of difference whether Vargas bats fourth or fifth.

The bad news for the Twins is that its back to a day game for today.  The good news is that Tommy Milone is going for the Twins, and he hasn't lost a game all year!  Jason Vargas goes for Kansas City, and while he hasn't been spectacular he's been a solid rotation starter for about five years now.  Still, we've got momentum now!  We've started that season-ending, one hundred fifty-five game winning streak!  We're still on track for 156-6!

3 thoughts on “Game 8 Recap: Twins 3, Royals 1”

  1. Just about any other CF in the game out there and Dozier would have had a three-run triple instead of a sacrifice fly in the first inning and Molitor would have looked like a genius. Dozier led the team in home runs last year and he's tied for the team lead this year (in other words, he's hit one), so might as well bat him second. I really think the switch was more about hoping it helps ii to have better at-bats, so more of a psychological ploy. The stats say lineup construction doesn't matter, but it can matter to the batter himself. One of my best hitters on my Little League team stopped hitting when I batted him leadoff. He kept taking strike 3. Today, I dropped him down to fifth and he got a hit and a walk in his two at-bats. As for batting Dozier fourth, I think it was more about keeping the lineup alternating right and left/switch hitters and to avoid moving too many batters around.

    1. I'm just curious why he doesn't want to bat Vargas fourth. It probably doesn't make much difference, and I'm not necessarily saying he's wrong. I just like to know what the thinking is behind the decisions managers make.

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